1) Students facing circumstances that constitute grounds as set out in Section 9 may submit a request for academic concession. Students are responsible for submitting their requests as soon as possible.
2) Requests for academic concessions shall be made to the instructor of the student’s course or the Dean of the student’s faculty, as appropriate, and as set out in the attached procedures. If concurrent academic concessions are sought in more than one course, the request should be made directly to the Dean.
3) Requests for academic concessions shall be determined on a case-by-case basis and in a timely manner by the instructor or Dean.
4) Before making a determination on a request for an academic concession, a Dean shall normally consult with:
- a) The relevant graduate supervisor/advisor for graduate students in programs administered by the College of Graduate Studies;
- b) The Dean or designate of the faculty offering an affected course, if different from the faculty in which the student is registered; and
- c) The instructor of an affected course.
5) Determination of whether to grant an academic concession and which type of academic concession is most appropriate will depend on the student’s individual circumstances. One or more of the following considerations generally apply:
- the nature and duration of the issue affecting the student;
- confidential consultation with other appropriate units that can provide applicable professional opinions on the student’s situation;
- the scope and type of academic work affected;
- the proportion of prescribed academic work having been completed at the point in the term or program when academic work is affected; and,
- the student’s achievements in the course or program to date.
6) The granting of an academic concession must not lower the academic standards of UBC, its courses, or its programs, and does not remove either the need for evaluation or assessment or the need for the student to meet essential requirements.
7) Courses and programs with continuous assessment, assessment of the development of graduate attributes, assessment of standards of professional conduct or assessment of patient care may be constrained in the form of academic concession they can offer.
8) In some credit courses, such as some practica, internships, and field-work courses, there may be steps required for approval and authorities involved in requests for academic concessions in addition to those described in this policy.
9) Grounds for Academic Concession
Grounds for academic concession exist when one or more of the conditions below lead to a situation or conflict that hinders participation or attendance at a class session or examination, or an inability to otherwise fulfill the requirements of a course or academic program in a timely manner, particularly where the requirements are assessed as part of a grade.
Grounds for academic concession may exist at the time a student enters an academic term but may also arise when a student’s circumstances change unexpectedly during the term.
Where a request for an academic concession is based on a protected ground covered by the BC Human Rights Code, the University has a duty to grant an accommodation unless doing so will create undue hardship, as that term has been interpreted under BC law, for the University. This policy does not apply to accommodations; rather, other University policies apply in those circumstances. See Related Policies: Board Policies SC7, and SC17, Joint Board and Senate Policy LR7LR7, and Joint Senate Policy J-136.
Grounds for academic concession fall into one or more of the following categories:
a) Conflicting Responsibilities
It is a student’s responsibility to arrange their scheduled non-academic activities to the best of their ability in a manner that enables full attendance and participation in their courses and programs, including required practica and internships.
Conflicting responsibilities do not include travel or social plans that conflict with class or exam schedules unless the travel is related to another valid ground for academic concession.
Conflicting responsibilities that create grounds for academic concession are beyond the student’s control and normally arise after the student has registered in courses. Examples include:
- i. being absent from campus to represent the University, British Columbia or Canada in a competition or performance
- ii. attending meetings required as a member of a University governance body
- iii. being called to serve in the military
- iv. needing to work to support oneself or one’s family but only when the need changed after the student registered in the course
- v. a change in the need to provide care for a dependant or family member
- vi. being required to attend a court session as a witness, jury member, or party
- vii. being required to attend a hearing on a matter of University discipline or academic standing
- viii. being required to report to a government office for immigration or citizenship proceedings
Participation in a religious observance, or a cultural observance for First Nations, Métis, or Inuit students of Canada is governed by accommodations under Policy J-136.
b) Medical Circumstances
Medical circumstances that create grounds for academic concession are normally unanticipated and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- i. Acute physical or mental illness or a medical circumstance that emerges or recurs during a term
- ii. The emergence of, or a change in, a chronic physical or mental health condition
The Disability Resource Centre is available for consultation with students, instructors, and advisors of all types if it is unclear whether a medical circumstance qualifies for academic concession, especially where the student's temporary illness or injury has persisted for more than one academic term.
c) Compassionate Grounds
Compassionate grounds for academic concession may arise as a result of a traumatic event. A traumatic event is a distressing or overwhelming injurious event or situation (actual, attempted or threatened) that harms a person’s sense of safety, sense of self and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships. Such an event can reasonably be expected to affect someone emotionally, psychologically or physically to such a degree that it significantly interferes with everyday life and tasks. Examples can include: acts of physical violence; sexualised violence; natural disasters; war; motor vehicle accidents; the death of a family member or close friend.
10) Types of Academic Concessions
There are numerous types of academic concessions and the list below is nonexhaustive. The instructor or Dean will determine the most appropriate academic concession depending on the grounds and the situation of the student according to the procedures set out in this policy and, where applicable, additional procedures set out by the Faculty.
a) In-term Course Concessions
An instructor, or Dean where appropriate, may provide one or more options to students who miss a marked assignment, test, or deadline. The options for each course should be identified in the course syllabus. Examples include provision of make-up tests, reweighting of missed marks to a later test or assignment, provision of an alternative means of fulfilling a participation or presentation requirement, or allowance for a maximum number of class discussions or quizzes to be missed.
b) Late Withdrawal
Late withdrawal from one or more courses may be granted by the student’s Dean, but not by an instructor. A student may be granted withdrawal from a course after the withdrawal deadline (with “W” standing) when the student has not met course requirements during the term but has valid grounds for academic concession that address the reasons for the lack of demonstrated achievement. A student will not normally be granted late withdrawal if the final examination has been sat or final assignment completed. A “W” standing will normally be placed on the student’s transcript when a late withdrawal is granted.
For the provisions for late withdrawal from all registered courses or from a program, see “Change of Registration”. Granting late withdrawal from a term or a program may be contingent on a plan co-developed by the student, with a Dean, a graduate supervisor/advisor, and other support services as appropriate. The plan may set conditions to be met before the student can be re-admitted and resume studies. If a student withdraws from a program, an application for readmission must be made by the published application deadline for the program if they wish to be considered for re-admission (see Readmission).
Where a student is the subject of academic discipline proceedings, withdrawal is not an available concession in the course in which the matter of discipline is being considered.
c) Deferred Standing
Deferred standing may be granted by the student’s Dean but not by a courseinstructor. For the provisions for deferral of a final examination or assignment beyond end of term, i.e. approval to write the missed examination or submit the assignment later, see Standings.
d) Aegrotat Standing
e) Adjudicated Pass
f) Retroactive Course Drop
In exceptional cases involving extraordinary compassionate or medical grounds, the Dean may remove a student’s registration in a course from the academic record.
11) Requesting an Academic Concession
In all cases, students’ requests for academic concession should be made as early as reasonably possible, in writing, to their instructor, graduate supervisor/advisor, or Dean in accordance with the procedures for this policy and those set out by the student’s Faculty/School. These requests should clearly state the grounds for the academic concession and the anticipated duration of the conflict and/or interference with academic work. In some situations, this self-declaration is sufficient, but the submission of supporting documentation may be required along with, or following, the self-declaration.
For students who are requesting an academic concession on the ground of sexualized violence, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) can make the request directly to the Dean on behalf of the student. Full details of the incident and its impacts do not have to be disclosed.
12) Documentation for Academic Concession requests
a) Documentation for Conflicting Responsibilities
Supporting documentation should normally be provided in support of requests for academic concessions on the grounds of conflicting responsibilities. A self-declaration may be sufficient where, in the opinion of the Dean, there is no practicable way to provide a letter or other official document from an organization relevant to the conflicting responsibility.
In the case of an academic concession for care for a family member, the University does not require documentation. However, advance notice of interference with academic activities should be provided by the student as soon as reasonably possible.
b) Documentation for Medical Circumstance
For first occurrences of an acute illness likely to be quickly resolved without seeing a health professional, a self-declaration will normally suffice.
If a student makes a second or subsequent request to an instructor for academic concessions resulting from acute illness, the instructor will refer the student to their Dean or graduate supervisor/advisor as appropriate. Students who are experiencing a chronic condition may work directly with a Faculty or School graduate supervisor/advisor or Dean as appropriate. In such cases, the student may be asked to provide medical documentation regarding the effects of the condition on their studies.
If the student is not registered with the Disability Resource Centre, the Dean or graduate supervisor/advisor may seek the advice of the Centre regarding documentation submitted.
c) Documentation for Compassionate Grounds
If a prolonged absence is anticipated on compassionate grounds, supporting documentation may be requested. Documentation can be provided by a professional or support unit that can assess the effect of the event on the student.
If documentation is requested, it must come from a support unit or professional able to speak to the impact on the student. For documentation related to sexualized violence, a summary of the impacts, without details of the incident itself, from SVPRO or other mental health professional is sufficient.
The Dean or graduate supervisor/advisor, with input from the instructor, then determines whether an academic concession should be granted and which academic concession best supports the student’s wellbeing and academic progress. Prior to determining the appropriate academic concession, the Dean or graduate supervisor/advisor, will communicate directly with the student to ensure that the student understands the alternatives and their implications.
12) Sharing of Confidential Information
A student seeking academic concession has a right to privacy in the personal information collected by UBC. The collection, use and disclosure of this information are governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”).
A student’s personal information related to the request for academic concession will be shared within the University solely on a need-to-know basis.
This information will not be shared with a person or unit external to UBC without the student’s written consent, or as otherwise authorized under FIPPA.
Students who are denied academic concession under this policy may appeal the decision within their Faculty or to the Senate. to the relevant Senate committee. See Senate Appeals on Academic Standing.
Deans shall designate, in writing to the Registrar, those persons or positions authorized to make academic concession decisions on their behalf under this policy.
The Senate Academic Policy Committee may set procedures under this policy to assist with its implementation and interpretation.